FI am sitting in the living room this morning in a fine mood, having coffee and finishing up the NYT Sunday Crossword (I’ve been laggardly, or maybe stupid this week as it’s already Wednesday) and I got to wondering; just when is Pancake Day this year?
I truly think I may be stupider than normal these days since a friend in New Orleans happened to mention last week that Mardi Gras was on. Well, Mardi Gras translates to Fat Tuesday, with that being the final day before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of the 40 days of Lent during which time we are supposed to eschew all dietary ‘nice’ stuff and eat nothing but unleavened grains and likely broccoli.
This is a long way about saying I MISSED PANCAKE DAY! For so-called ‘Shrove Tuesday’ happened to be March 4th. I was quite despondent. Like Homer Simpson I believe pancakes for supper cannot be excelled in its delicious decadence. Oh, and by the way, what in hell is a Shrove, anyway? I could look it up, I suppose.
But, back to the point about missing Pancake Day, I am grievously disappointed in my negligence. And Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday also reminds me of an incident of bad behavior when a bunch of us were young and foolish. The year I was taking my secondary teacher’s training at the University of BC there was a little group of kindred souls – hence, partiers – who hung out. One of the group, interestingly enough, was an Anglican priest who was in a midlife crisis in which he was asking if he wanted to keep putting his collar on backwards, so was wondering if maybe he wanted to be a teacher instead. He was a good guy and we liked him very much and he was as badly behaved as the rest of us.
Anyway, our clerical friend, in order to finance his studies, had a part time job as rector’s assistant at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver. Well, we were celebrating Shrove Tuesday that year by tippling perhaps more than we should have. He then had the splendid idea that we should all go over to the cathedral. And we did. And we ran up and down the aisles in the nave whooping and hollering and be complete assholes as people who imbibe too much are sometimes wont to do. And then the evening was over and we went to our homes. Unfortunately, the bishop got word of what our colleague had done in letting a bunch of intoxicants into that holy place and he was threatened with defrocking. He was able to argue his way out, but just barely.
Anyway, pancakes. I love pancakes. And while I can savor crepes and other fancy stuff, what I like best is good old Aunt Jemima pancakes with the mix in which you add your own milk and egg (and also bacon fat, essential).
When I lived in England an aunt of mine and her friend dropped by one day. Her friend was originally Canadian but had married a Brit serviceman during the war and had stayed there. In conversation, when I asked her if she missed anything about Canada, so said, “What I miss is Aunt Jemima Pancakes.” I made her life brighter. We had a store in our town called the ‘American Store’ designed to provide back home fare for North Sea Oil workers. Therein they had Aunt Jemima, and I had an extra box so gave it to her. If I hadn’t been married I think she would have offered herself to me on the spot.
Oh, and I like my pancakes (sometimes blueberry ones) with butter, lemon juice and sugar rather than maple syrup.